Team Fortress 2 contest: design a map with a 'dynamic payload element'

Valve and have put forth a challenge: design a new map with a “dynamic payload element.” What’s a “dynamic payload element,” you ask? That’s up to you to decide, and therein lies the challenge.

In case you’re not a TF2-er, payload is a game mode where one team must push a bomb, the “payload,” into the defending team’s base, where explosions will ensue. The defending team works to prevent said explosion. There’s also payload race, where both teams are on the offensive, pushing a cart to victory.

Obviously, if Valve or the map makers at told you what a “dynamic payload element” was, they’d be doing your homework for you! These guys want you to come up with a new way of playing payload. Here’s what the site’s staff has to say about it:

“Any sort of payload gameplay element that involves moving, turning, lifting, teleporting, cloning or turbo-boosting the payload cart is in my opinion okay. You more or less have completely free hands here to exercise your creativity for what can be done as a interesting feature in a [sic] otherwise uneventful and simple payload map.”

Read the full post for complete rules, as well as a link to a handy countdown clock to the contest’s April 30 deadline. First, second and third place winners will be chosen, with in-game medals and other prizes to be announced later.

Remember, the level can be either a standard payload or payload race. Would-be designers in need of inspiration could look to TF2’s Hightower map, the first to include a vertical portion in the race, or Pipeline, where sloping tracks mean an unattended payload cart will roll back to start. Now get map making!

Alex Roth